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#349853 - 09/04/13 06:34 PM Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond?
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 03/14/04
Posts: 71
Loc: California
I have a 13 acre new pond I built here in Central California and stocked a 2 years ago with 10,000 3 - 4" Coppernose bluegill. Then last April we stocked 200 6 - 8" Florida stain bass and this year thirty 1 lb. to 3 lb. adult Florida bass after the spawn from another one of our ponds that is a tad bass heavy. This summer we started seeing a few 4" - 6" bullhead catfish coming to the fish feeders mixed in with the bluegill. I have no idea how many bullhead are in the pond or where they came from (we filled the pond with well water). They can be caught on bait around the fish feeders. Due to the soil composition we have issues with clay turbidity. I do not think nor do I want bullhead catfish adding to this issue.

So question I have is it worth the cost to buy a number of fish traps (the ones I see that on reports are best run $ 130 - $ 150 each) and trap as many out as I possibly can OR not worry about them as the rapidly growing LMB will eventually control the bullhead population and ideally almost eliminate them entirely.

What do you professionals advise on this issue and best prescribed course of action if any?

Thanks,

Dave

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#349862 - 09/04/13 06:58 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10457
Loc: northern VA
The bass should assist you greatly, but bullheads are very prolific. If you can afford it, I would look into purchasing and/or building some traps. And target them with fishing pressure as well... You can build traps for far less that $130-150 each.
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#349864 - 09/04/13 07:03 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 03/14/04
Posts: 71
Loc: California
Have you built any traps and or trapped bullheads? I am wondering what size mesh and openings would best suit these sized bullheads? Would a two stage funnel be they way to go?

Thanks!

Dave

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#349865 - 09/04/13 07:07 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
Cray Offline


Registered: 04/21/13
Posts: 304
Loc: South Georgia
I have found that a comfortable chair, a glass of sweet tea, and a pellet gun at feeding time helps to lower the population. Though it will probably do little in your size BOW. It's still a fun way to spend an evening.
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#349866 - 09/04/13 07:14 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
Bocomo Offline


Registered: 05/06/12
Posts: 1113
Loc: Boone County, MO (pond)
Would you like to improve the turbidity? You might be able to address that with alum. Others here can help you with that, too.
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#349870 - 09/04/13 07:43 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 03/14/04
Posts: 71
Loc: California
Cray, dump that chair, switch to a cup of Jack and up grade your fire power to a 12 gauge and you will have a hell of an evening LOL. Bocomo I have already done water analysis and calculated dry alum sulfate required at 6,000 lbs. / $ 1,825.00 or pre-mixed liquid form in totes at $ 3,824.00 based on 17 ppm alum sulfate. Got that covered as you can tell.

My question was need to aggressively trap or not and if so best trap type in order to curb population expansion of bullheads. Any pros with advice on this would be appreciated.

Dave

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#349871 - 09/04/13 07:44 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: Bocomo]
esshup Offline
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I'd go the trap route, but first off, do you have any idea how they got in there in the first place? Do you have a stream that might feed the pond in a high rainfall event? Was there water in a small pond when you built the current pond?
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#349878 - 09/04/13 08:15 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 03/14/04
Posts: 71
Loc: California
Scott:

The pond was originally a 4 acre pond with no bullhead observed. It was dried out for 2 years and then expanded by an additional 9 acres with completion 3 months later. That was three years ago. It was shaped, contoured, built to my specs with islands for wind breaks, ridge lines with ledge drop offs from shallow flats in areas to deep water, points with bolder pile edges, 350 full size leaf free orange tree strategically placed for both bluegill and ambush locals for LMB, BG and LMB pea gravel flats for spawning, Vertex three station aeration with depth to 16'. It is a bass and bluegill Disneyland! Ray Scott has nothing on this pond as far as design and fish features, we went all out. We have a 3,000 gallon p.m. / 1,300' well which we used to fill the pond. We have other ponds and ditches around the pond we hunt ducks on that we drain and are bone dry throughout the summer which we roll to grow timothy and water grass to kill ducks, but they have no connection to our main pond due to big levees. However, we do have lots of waterfowl in the surrounding ponds and I wonder if this could have somehow been a source or maybe inadvertently some came with the Coppernose bluegill we stocked accidentally. I have used the same fish supplier for the last 7 years on other ponds and lakes I manage and never had or seen a non-requested species in the mix. I know they didn't come with the LMB. Who knows where they came from but we have some, how many I don't know. I have not seen and spawn balls of little ones, so maybe our small population of LMB are controlling them already and what I am observing are ones that have exceed meal size for the existing LMB.

You have a nice website by the way.

So Scott, on traps what would you suggest or not? Or am I just making a bigger deal and my LMB will take care of them eventually. In other ponds with healthy LMB populations I don't find concentrations of bullhead very often.

Dave


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#349880 - 09/04/13 08:18 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5667
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
Here is how we took out about 150 lbs. of bullheads from the pond of long-time Pond Boss friend Sunil:

Sunil's Bullhead Relocation Project
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#349886 - 09/04/13 08:43 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
DavidB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/14/04
Posts: 71
Loc: California
Catmando:

Now that is some effective use of an appropriate weapon my friend! Out here in Lefty Land you would need to make sure that modern day sporting rifle (note I refuse to say "assault weapon" just because it is a "scary" black gun..lol. Don't let P. Morgan see you shoot that gun) would need to be modified with a bullet button, magazine under 10 rounds and re-registered so they know you own it. You can't transfer it after that to your kids if you die or even let them shoot it because the registration is for you alone and the gun needs to be turned in if you die. And with our dandy new regulations in this most liberal of gun states in the country, might soon not allowing you to buy ammo for it or over the internet or shotgun shells or any type (Los Angeles County already), require you to buy your ammo at no more than 500 rounds of any type thru a licensed FFL dealer after purchasing an annual ammo permit with finger prints -any more and your purchase details need to be reported to the local police agency. And by the way, you can't hunt with it or any gun with a lead bullet as lead could be soon be banned as it pollutes the environment or might poison one of the 50 or so condors breed in captivity and released back in the wild. Even though the lead content in condors sampled in the "condor zones" since the non-lead bullet ban years ago has increased not increased - note lead from bullets is not what is giving the condors lead poisoning. The Humane Society has the power in this state and dictates to our Fish and Game and are tight with the wackos environs, Hollywood crowd and Democrats that run this state. Texas is looking better by the day, besides the no state tax deal. Did I mention CA has the highest taxes and highest fuel prices in the country too?

I forgot, It was bullhead catfish I was talking about. Sorry I got side tracked. Meet any sportsman / hunter out here in the Left and you will here this common rant.

Dave


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#349897 - 09/04/13 09:57 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24026
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Dave:

Thanks!

I lived in Oceanside from '87 to '97, and I hear ya. I wouldn't mind moving back there, but the firearm climate just won't allow it. I belonged to San Clemente Gun Club, and the Escondido Gun Club - and did rangemaster duty at both, but more at Escondido. I shot clays in Lakeside, Miramar (calling for a bird and swinging thru an F14 with the shotgun as it took off from the airstrip was a trip!), Anza, Rahaugees (Norco, Ca), Pachmayr (El Monte), all the way up to Tehachapi, where we trained Springer Spaniels. Pheasant hunting near the border one day, my dog had to cross the canal into Mexico to retrieve a shot rooster. A buddy and I would go to Phoenix once a month to shoot for a trainer over there.

I wonder how many of those gun clubs are now closed?

Anywhoo, I think that the LMB will continue to work on the BH, but if you want a trap, look into a Fyke Net. I've caught 100's of BH in them. I like the modified Fyke net, which has rectangular hoop(s) that transition to a round hoop. They won't roll around on a tapered pond bottom. You won't catch LMB in them, but just about everything else will swim into one.

You're right, Texas is looking better and better. I just wish that the state would do something about their Spring/Summer/Fall triple digit temps! wink grin
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#349898 - 09/04/13 10:10 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
DavidB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/14/04
Posts: 71
Loc: California
Scott:

The bulk of those clubs are closed now, especially rifle ranges. We are loosing a generation of hunters and shooters here in this State due to lack of ranges and hunting opportunities. Sad to see a great American tradition dying due to bad politics.

Thanks on the direction on the traps.

Dave

P.S. - If your out this way and want to kill some ducks or hogs or bust some sporting clays, don't be shy and shoot me an email when your coming.

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#349899 - 09/04/13 10:11 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5667
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
During the filming, no fish were harmed by that weapon (in the hands of one of our favorite lawyers). But, our legal-beagle friend, and "The Pond Owner" sure have an attitude towards poor defenseless (and delicious) bullheads -- and even against poor defenseless little turtles hiding in the outhouse! cry
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#349901 - 09/04/13 10:14 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
DavidB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/14/04
Posts: 71
Loc: California
LOL! Always best to have the lawyer shoot first.

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#350247 - 09/08/13 06:28 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: esshup]
poppy65 Offline


Registered: 04/15/13
Posts: 258
Loc: illinois
Originally Posted By: esshup
I'd go the trap route, but first off, do you have any idea how they got in there in the first place? Do you have a stream that might feed the pond in a high rainfall event? Was there water in a small pond when you built the current pond?



I have a small pond in my front yard with the same problem. I had it dig about 16 years ago and only stock it with BG. This is the first year I see bullheads in it. I have no idea how they got in there. No chance of runoff from any other body of water. I've heard blue herons won't carry them but I did have one hanging around the pond last year.

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#350263 - 09/08/13 08:21 PM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: DavidB]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12339
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
Consider that neighbors or relatives decided to do you a favor and add a few catfish. That happens a lot. If you want to eliminate them relatively quickly rotenone the pond or drain to dry and add quick lime or bleach to the puddles.
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#350306 - 09/09/13 10:04 AM Re: Bullhead Catfish removal in a new pond? [Re: Bill Cody]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
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Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
I agree with Bill about 2 legged "helpers".
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